So what is a technology plan, why do I need one, and how do I create one?
A technology plan is just what it sounds like - a plan for new and replacement technology within your library.
Creating a technology plan gives you an idea of what you will have to include in your budget for future years. It also helps balance your projects. Implementing too many projects in a short time span or trying to research too many initiatives gets a little overwhelming, particularly when you have the rest of your job to worry about.
So, now that you know what a technology plan is and why you need one, creating one is the next and final step. Well, it's technically multiple steps, but you get the idea.
For the sake of this blog post, I will assume that you are starting from scratch and that your library does not have a technology plan.
Step 1 - Identify the technology that you have
You can't know where you're going until you know where you are. Start with an inventory. How many computers do you have? Printers? Barcode scanners? Does your library have a digital camera? Any tablets? Wireless routers?
Step 2 - Assess your technology
It's great to know that you have four computers, two printers, and a wireless internet router but you need to know a bit more about them. When were the computers purchased? What model are they? Your list of technology from Step 1 becomes a chart here in Step 2.
Step 3 - Decide on a replacement schedule
Will computers be replaced every three years or four? Will printers be replaced every four years or five? What about your barcode scanners? Your wireless routers? Based on the year you purchased your equipment and the schedule you set, you'll know when you need to start purchasing replacements.
Step 4 - Add in any new initiatives
Once you have covered replacing technology, what about new technology? Is there anything you want to research? New initiatives you'd like to introduce into your library? It's good to include these in your technology plan so you can keep everything on schedule and in order.
Step 5 - Write our your technology plan
Now that you have all the information, you need to formalize it into one cohesive plan. Sort everything by year; each year has its own table.
My last recommendation? Once you have a technology plan, don't abandon it. As the years tick by, they need updating and refreshing. A technology plan is a best guess scenario at the moment you create it. Once it's created, it will inevitably start changing. That's normal. Let it change and keep it updated.